A Linn Middle School 8th grader and a Fatima High School 12th grader are this year’s grand prize winners in Vitae Foundation’s Essay Contest on Life Issues.  Darby Nolting, Linn, an 8th grader of Linn Middle School, (read essay) and Trevor Wieberg of Westphalia, a 12th grader at Fatima High School (read essay) claimed the top grand prize.  Each threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the start of the July 20 St. Louis Cardinals game.  The essay contest was a component of Osage County Night at the Ballpark.

Vitae’s essay contest engaged the younger residents of Osage County in the discussion of life issues.  Nolting’s essay was titled: “My Life with A Brother’s Addiction” while Wieberg wrote about “Banning Abortion.”  The essay contest was made possible through a generous grant from the Alphonse J. Schwartze Foundation, which is also funding a radio ad campaign for Vitae on the St. Louis Cardinals Radio Network during the 2016 season.

“We were so pleased to receive 97 submissions to the essay contest this year.  The grant allowed us to give four tickets to each contest participant.  The diversity of topics the students chose and the time and effort expended in composing the essays was impressive and commendable.  I’m certain their parents and teachers are very proud that they accepted the challenge,” Vitae Senior Market Director Stacey Kromer stated.

The grand prize winners and each class winner received four box-seat tickets.  All other contest entrants received four seats in the sections reserved for the Osage County Night attendees.  Additional winners included:

► Cheyenne Hemeyer, Grade 12, Chamois High School

► Hannah Eisterhold, Grade 10, Osage County R-III, Fatima

► Jacob Knaebel, Grade 9, Osage County R-III, Fatima

► David Kempker, Grade 8, Osage County R-III, Fatima

► Paul Boeckmann, Grade 8, Immaculate Conception, Loose Creek

► Samantha Brandt, Grade 8, St. George, Linn

► Alese Stratman, Grade 8, Sacred Heart, Rich Fountain

► Masan Stuecken, Grade 8, St. Joseph School, Westphalia